I find it hard to get behind efforts like this, because there is no discussion of what NASA should actually be doing with the money, and it’s assumed that there are no problems at NASA that money won’t fix. But absent major reforms and ways of doing business, sending more money to NASA is like sending more booze to a teenager behind the wheel.
[Update a couple minutes later]
From the “About” page:
We hope you’ll join us in showing your support for NASA and human spaceflight by sharing this website with your friends and family, and by contacting your elected representatives.
Note the implicit assumption that NASA is identically equal to “Human spaceflight.” How naive. And counterproductive. When I look at Constellation, I have to channel William Proxmire: “Not one penny for this nutty fantasy.”
[Update Sunday morning]
Jeff Foust has further thoughts on the petition:
The site…just rehashes many of the old arguments, the ones that have not proven compelling in the past. The site includes a letter you can sign to send to your representatives, but the call to action is weak: “I urge you to provide adequate investment in our nation’s space program.” What may be one person’s “adequate investment” may be another’s wholly inadequate—or simply unaffordable.
[Late Sunday afternoon update]
More thoughts from Clark Lindsey:
I know these guys mean well…but I can’t support giving more money to an agency that would waste it on absurdly expensive projects like Ares I/Ares V. If the cost of access to space cannot be reduced substantially from currently levels, it is pointless to continue with human spaceflight. These projects neither lower space access costs nor lay a technology development path towards lower costs.
Yes. As I’ve noted often, even if these programs were successful by their own metrics, they would be an utter failure in terms of opening up space to humanity, as all of NASA’s human spaceflight programs have been to date.